If the epidermis (outermost layer of the skin) is hurt, the skin quickly repairs itself, as our surface cells are continually renewed. If the dermis, home to our blood vessels and nerves, is damaged, the recovery process can take a lot longer:
- our blood vessels contract and clots are formed. This limits bleeding and prevents bacteria from penetrating our skin.
- our skin reddens, due to inflammation. White blood cells are activated to destroy any bacteria that have managed enter into our bodies.
- 2/3 days later, collagen production kicks in to replace the skin tissue over the injured area.
- finally, our epidermal cells divide to create a new outer layer and close up the wound. This last step can take up to a year!